Food and Wine Pairing Ideas for Memorable Holiday Meals

(StatePoint) To create a delicious and memorable experience at your holiday gathering, seek some inspiration from the vintners and chefs of one of the most impressive wine and food destinations worldwide, Napa Valley.

One of the iconic winemaking families from the Valley, the Cakebreads, share their recommendations.

When it comes to red wine, the fresh, fragrant aromas of red and black cherry, raspberry and tea-leaf spice found in the 2015 “Two Creeks” Pinot Noir (SRP $44) can provide an elegant accompaniment to your meal. This cool-climate Pinot Noir complements seared tuna, roast turkey, pork tenderloin and hearty root vegetables.

For your white wine, consider the vivid creamy aromas of green and golden apple, pear and citrus with supporting scents of oak spice found in the Napa Valley Chardonnay 2015 (SRP $40), which pairs nicely with chicken, shellfish, seafood and grilled salads.

Both wines are produced at Cakebread Cellars, a family-owned winery since 1973, committed to craftsmanship. Their premier culinary program makes cooking and pairing wines easy. Take a cue from their playbook by enjoying the Chardonnay selection with their recipe for Harissa Spiked Roast Crab with Spicy Red Pepper Sauce.

Ingredients:

• 3 large Dungeness crabs, cooked, cleaned and cracked

• 3 tablespoons olive oil

• 1 1/2 tablespoonsWhole Spice harissa spice blend (a mix of ground dried chilies, cumin, coriander and garlic)

• 3-4 cloves garlic, mashed

• 2 tablespoons orange juice

• 1 tablespoon lime juice

• 2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped

• 1 cup mayonnaise

• 1/3 cup roasted red peppers

• 1 teaspoon Sriracha hot sauce

Directions:

• Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.

• Place crab in the bottom of a large casserole dish, large enough for all crabs to fit in an even layer.

• Crack all leg shells. The body should be broken up into about six smaller pieces, so that the marinade can seep into the meat.

• To create the marinade, in a small bowl, combine the olive oil, harissa spice mix, mashed garlic cloves, 1 tablespoon of orange juice and 1 teaspoon of lime juice and stir.

• Pour marinade over the crabs and toss with your hands to evenly coat. Be sure they are well coated.

• Place in the middle of the preheated oven. Roast for 10-12 minutes. Flip once or twice, so that the crab cooks evenly.

• While the crabs are roasting, place the mayonnaise, red peppers, hot sauce, 1 tablespoon of orange juice and 1 teaspoon of lime juice in a blender jar. Puree until smooth.

To serve, place casserole in the center of table for guests to help themselves, and pass bowls of the red pepper sauce. Serve with lots of napkins.

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